Dispirited While Packing My Books Away One Summer Morning, I Utilize Phrases From One That Was Destined For Fodder

Mary Ruefle

Spring 2017

By the Ming there were well over
A thousand theorists of poetry.
Some believed poems “look up into
Vast space and continue nothing”
(I saw a field full of empty snow).
Others that poems were like
“A lotus in first sunlight.”
Lotus after lotus
Into the dark boxes.
I looked up from packing,
And continued packing.

Mary Ruefle is the author of, most recently, My Private Property. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including this year’s Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry.

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